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Mataji Jyotirmayi

mataji
સંતજનની માતાજી જ્યોતિર્મયી

On August 15th, 1921 in 'Saroda' - a small village of Gujarat near Ahmedabad, Jadavben Bhatt was blessed with a baby boy 'Bhailal'. The addition of a boy brought cheer into this poor Brahmin family who used to earn their livelihood by farming.

Misfortune struck her as she lost her husband Manilal Bhatt, Yogeshwarji's father in prime of her youth. She was barely 28 and became a widow! Her ray of hope was Bhailal - her only son. Her brother, who used to work as a cook in Mumbai, proposed to take Bhailal with him for further studies. She pull together all the courage she had and consented her brother to take her beloved son for admission into a Hindu Orphanage.

During school days, Yogeshwarji used to regularly write letter to his Mother and during vacations, he used to visit Saroda. In those days, to pass matriculate (SSC) exam was considered a big thing and Yogeshwarji, being brilliant in studies, passed it. So all known and unknown people of Saroda started looking forward to Yogeshwarji's marriage.

Here, during his stay at Mumbai Yogeshwarji's fascination increased manifold towards spirituality and he determined to be a self-realized yogi. Marriage was nowhere in his mind. In addition, Yogeshwarji decided to go to Himalayas in the prime of his life. It must be the most difficult moment for a widow mother to see her only son departing for Himalayas at the age of 20. Still, she did not stop or deter him from going there. She had unshakable faith in the grace of the Almighty.

Few years passed and Yogeshwarji made Himalayas his abode for penance. The first thing he did was to call Mataji to stay with him. Those were the days when Yogeshwarji used to meditate for most part of day in a lonely forest hut of Shantashram near Dev Prayag. He used to observe verbal silence and fast for days together. It was very difficult for Mataji to stay and accompany there, but She proved her mettle. Not only did she stayed with Mahatmaji for years together but gave inspiration and hope with full of her understanding. She also tried to perform strenuous spiritual practices along with her son during those days

Thus, from an ordinary mother, Mataji became an illumined soul. She not only encouraged her illustrious son on the path of spirituality, but also became a witness of Yogeshwarji’s penance. Mataji stayed together with Shri Yogeshwarji for more than thirty years and offered her wholehearted support during the strenuous days of Yogeshwarji's Himalayan stay. Shri Yogeshwarji believed Mataji as a form of Mother Jagadamba and later named her as Mataji Jyotirmayi.

Mataji accompanied Yogeshwarji on numerous yatras including a spiritual tour of USA and UK in 1979. In India and abroad, this mother-son duo was a common figure for many years. During lectures, Mataji used to sit next to Yogeshwarji and received the same respect that her son commend.

Mahatma Shri Yogeshwarji put an example before mankind on how to serve one’s mother. Shri Yogeshwarji glorified the ancient Sanskrit saying “Matru Devo Bhav” ('Mother is a form of God'). Shri Yogeshwarji also became known as “Matru bhakta Mahatma” (worshipping and serving his mother) among saints and sages of his time. It was Yogeshwarji who put forth an ideal before people that being saint does not mean relegating worldly duties towards one's mother.

After a brief illness and receiving exemplary service from the hands of Maa Sarveshwari and Shri Yogeshwarji at Bhavnagar, Mataji breathed her last on 4th October 1980. Being an excellent poet, Shri Yogeshwarji wrote a book containing 78 poems (signifying her 78 years) entitled "TARPAN" in loving memory of his mother.

It is interesting to note that Mahatma Shri Yogeshwarji resolved to build a Vishram Gruh for the pilgrims at the famous pilgrim place of Ambaji in Gujarat in the loving memory of Mataji Jyotirmayi. Maa Sarveshwari fulfilled that dream by building an extraordinary monument at the place selected by Shri Yogeshwarji. SWARGAROHAN is dedicated in the memory of Mataji and is truly named as “Mataji Jyotirmayi Vishram Gruh”.

From Yogeshwarji's Autobiography

"Mataji was a witness to my arduous sadhana. She understood the path that I had taken so she always tried to be agreeable to me in every way. She had tremendous patience, understanding and faith. She used to pray for my speedy success in my spiritual endeavors. In the difficult times, she had to prepare food which in itself was not less penance in Himalayas. Her heart was indeed great and pious.

Ramakrishna Dev said that Mother has come in one form as Kali and in another form has become Mother and fed me milk. My attitude towards my Mother was also the same. I always perceived her as one of the forms of the Mother Goddess."

"એમની અંતરંગ અવસ્થા સંસારની સર્વ સામાન્ય સ્ત્રીઓ કરતાં જુદી હતી. એ મહાન હતાં. એમનું હૃદય પવિત્ર, પ્રેમાળ અને પરગજુ હતું. આધ્યાત્મિકતાના સારતત્વને સુચારુરૂપે સમજવાની એમની શક્તિ અસાધારણ હતી. મારા પર એમના જીવનની સરળતા ને સરસતાનો અગત્યનો આધાર હોવા છતાં એમણે મારા માર્ગનો કોઇ વાર વિરોધ નહોતો કર્યો. સંસારની કોઇક સામાન્ય સ્ત્રીની જેમ સાંસારિક સુખાકારીનાં સ્વપ્નાં સેવવાને બદલે સંસારના મિથ્યાતત્વને ને ઇશ્વરપ્રાપ્તિની ઉપકારકતાને સ્પષ્ટ રીતે સમજીને એ ઇશ્વરની અધિકાધિક કૃપાપ્રાપ્તિની આકાંક્ષા રાખતાં. એવી માતા જગતમાં જવલ્લે જ જોવા મળે. અસાધારણ જન્માંતર સંસ્કારો, પૂર્વના પ્રબળ પુણ્યોદય અને ઇશ્વરના અલૌકિક અનુગ્રહ સિવાય એવું મંગળમય માતૃપદ નથી સાંપડી શકતું. અવતારી અથવા મહાન પુરુષોની માતાઓમાં પણ એવી માતાઓ ભાગ્યે જ થઇ શકે છે જેમણે પોતાનાં સંતાનોને જીવનના ઉષાકાળમાં આધ્યાત્મિક પ્રગતિના પવિત્ર પંથે પ્રયાણ કરતાં પેખીને એમનો વિરોધ ના કર્યો હોય, એમના માર્ગમાં અંતરાયો ઊભા ના કર્યા હોય, એમના આદર્શો અથવા સિદ્ધાંતોને સહાનુભૂતિપૂર્વક સમજીને એમના પ્રત્યે માન કેળવ્યું હોય, અને એમની સાથે રહી, સેવા કરી, જીવનની શાંતિ મેળવી હોય. માતાજી એ દૃષ્ટિએ એક અસામાન્ય અપવાદરૂપ અલૌકિક માતા હોવાથી મને એમના પ્રત્યે અનેરો આદરભાવ હોય એ સમજી શકાય તેમ છે. એવી માતાઓ સમસ્ત વિશ્વને માટે વંદનીય કહેવાય."

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